Women’s soccer looks to rebound

The Temple Owls (4-2) will face the Binghamton Bearcats (4-1) at Ambler Sports Complex on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a road matchup against the Lafayette Leopards (3-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

This weekend, Temple will try to rebound after dropping two consecutive games against Marshall and Rider. During their current losing streak, the Owls have been shutout twice after outscoring their first four opponents 8-0.

The Owls’ defense has continued its strong play, allowing two goals in six games, but the offense has had recent struggles, netting a total of two goals against their last four opponents.

Junior defender Alyssa Kirk has led the Owls with 16 total shots in 2013, matching her career-high for a single season. Kirk also leads the team in shots on goal, recording nine, and has registered two goals this season.

Leading the Bearcats’ attack, sophomore forward Stephani Church has recorded three goals and one assist this season. Senior goalkeeper Carrie Martin has registered a 4-0 record in her starts, earning 14 total saves and three shutouts in the process.

Junior forward Alyssa Finelli is the top goal scorer for Lafayette, scoring two goals in three starts. Finelli has also recorded an assist. Freshman goalkeeper Danielle Sedillo has begun her season with a 3-1 record and has recorded 11 saves.

In program history, the Owls have managed a 1-0-1 record against Lafayette and a 0-1 record against Binghamton.

Owls to play first home games

After playing four consecutive road games, the Temple Owls (4-0) will open the Ambler Sports Complex to host their first home games of the season against the Marshall Thundering Herd (2-1-1) and the Rider Broncs (1-2).

Temple will face Marshall at 1:30pm on Friday, followed by a 12 p.m. Sunday matchup against Rider.

The Owls are off to the best start in program history, beginning the season with four consecutive victories. Temple has also recorded four consecutive shutouts which ties the program record.

On offense, six different Owls have scored this season, led by junior defender Alyssa Kirk and freshman midfielder Ingrid Mello, who are both tied with two goals apiece. Sophomore forward Kelly Farrell leads the team with two assists. Mello, Kirk, and Farrell account for 12 of Temple’s 24 points registered in 2013.

Sophomore goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff recently earned a spot on the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll after she posted two more shutouts and recorded five saves.

The Thundering Herd’s Friday afternoon game against the Owl follows a double overtime game against Akron which ended in a 1-1 tie.

Sophomore forward Erin Simmons leads Marshall in scoring, recording three goals this season. Junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish has started between the bars in each of Marshall’s games, recording 15 saves and two shutouts in the process.

Sunday, Rider will attempt to rebound against Temple, following a 2-0 shutout loss to Fairleigh Dickinson.

The Broncs have managed a total of three goals this season with senior forward Jennifer Meier leading the team with two goals and an assist. Rider has split it’s goalkeeping duties between redshirt freshman Vanessa Perdomo and freshman Bethany-May Howard. Both goalkeepers have recorded a total of 15 saves.

As a team, Temple’s defense has limited opponents’ shot opportunity which has contributed to the .000 goal percentage it has allowed. In four games played, the Owls have more than doubled their opponent’s shots, averaging 14 shots compared to their opponents’ 6.5 shots. Marshall has averaged 15.5 shots per game and Rider has averaged 9.7 shots per game.

Temple will be facing Marshall for the first time in program history this weekend. Against Rider, the Owls’ will attempt to win their first ever match against the Broncs, going 0-2 in past seasons.

Shortened preseason brings early exhibition play

Due to their move to The American Athletic Conference, the women’s soccer team will not only see a shift in the regular season schedule, but in the preseason schedule as well.

The new conference scheduling was established this summer, which means Temple will face its exhibition opponents earlier than in previous years.

The Owls arrive on campus for their preseason training camp on Aug. 8, and will face their first exhibition opponent shortly after. In past years, the Owls had close to two weeks before facing an exhibition opponent, but this season, they will face both Wagner (Aug. 14) and Towson (Aug. 17) within the first 10 days of arrival at camp.

“It’s early, but we like it [because] it gives us a more realistic look at where we are,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “You can practice against each other all you want, but you don’t actually truly find out, until you go against someone different, how the girls are going to respond”.

With the Owls athletic staff viewing an early exhibition schedule as a beneficial alteration, when Wagner was in need of an exhibition match, Temple took advantage of the opportunity to add it to their schedule. The Owls will now face two preseason opponents for the first time ever.

“It was great getting the two friendly scrimmages in so that we can work on stuff against somebody else,” O’Connor said.